On being a "trailing spouse"
Number one, I LOATHE the term “trailing spouse”.
It conjures images of my husband dragging my limp body around the world with him while he does everything to support the both of us. Also, those of you that know me know that I don’t usually do much trailing, as I try to stay busy at the front end of things blazing some sort of path. I also love my spouse very much, but to define my living situation or title as simply a spouse doesn’t sit well with me. It’s for that reason that I’m going to start calling myself either a “traveling partner” or beef up my resume with the fancy title of “family relocation manager”.
The reality of our situation is, E’s career is less flexible than mine and I made the decision to choose a life of adventure with him over the job that I had. This doesn’t mean that I’m giving up my career, it’s just taking another path, and luckily I’ve got the skills and personality to make that happen. As far as a career goes anyway, I’ve never understood the desire to stay at a job or on a career track that doesn’t make you happy. I now have the fortune to be able to decide what I am passionate about and curate the career that I want for myself.
This move also means that I’m also considering the expectations I have for myself more, and those ideas that others have about me and my situation will have to take a back seat. What do I need to contribute to our family either financially or in other forms of support?
First off, I’m giving myself a little time. It does take a lot of effort to move everything you own and your whole life 5,773 miles/ 9,290.743 km away (yes I checked). So I am giving myself until the end of 2017 to define what it is I want to do, what I’m passionate about, and where I want to focus my energy.
Next, I’m taking some Georgian language lessons! As you may or may not know, I love learning languages and I would feel like I was wasting the opportunity of living in a foreign country if I didn’t try at least a little to learn the local language.
Lastly, I’m just going to ride it out and try my hardest not to stress about every. little. detail. Who knows- maybe a fidget spinner will do the trick.
Now that you’ve read this, I want to let you know that I recognize that I am in a privileged situation and am lucky enough to have a loving spouse that is willing to support me- which I am thankful for every day. Having the opportunity to reinvent oneself, travel, and learn about different parts of the world makes me very fortunate. For those of you out there experiencing the same thing, I want to use this blog to share my journey, which although it comes with privilege, will definitely be challenging for me in many ways.
How about all of you- are you a traveling partner or do you know someone who is? What surprises or challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them? Let me know in the comments!